7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight.
Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is one of the foundational building blocks of a good church leader. Wisdom becomes the guide to move forward through the mixed agendas of congregational members and the political waves of the church council. Wisdom is not granted to a leader just because he or she has a position and a title. This means that there are some good people in leadership that have no wisdom yet wisdom is essential for good leadership. This text instructs us to get wisdom. There is a sense of urgency that we should pursue wisdom. As leaders we need to make a decision to pursue wisdom for the long term success of our ministry. The silent partner is where the real power is. “Get insight” or better stated GET UNDERSTANDING.

Some people may ask, “If I have wisdom, what is it that I need to understand.”

Understand the power of personality types and why people react differently to the same event. Understand the history of the people as you are new to a church or ministry team. Understand the transitions that the congregation has engaged. Understand the denominational hierarchy and influence. Understand the family and friends connections between people in the congregation. Understand what positions people have held and the influence that they have on different people in the congregation. Understand the self esteem of the congregation. Understand what the team members need from you.

Listening is the best skill to help you achieve the goal of understanding the people within a congregation. This is not a one time event but you must listen to the critics and to those who praise you. You must listen to those in leadership and those who are on the fringes. You must listen with sincerity and patience. Your response must be humble and honest. Listening is not a one time event. It is an ongoing process that gives you the understanding to become a successful leader within the congregation.

Learning to Listen
Learning to Lead

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
Senior Servant Leader
West Baltimore UMC
5130 Greenwich
Baltimore, MD 21229
(410) 945-8397
West Baltimore UMC: Transforming the 40 West Corridor by Being and Making Disciples for Christ